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Virtual Backpack to Briefcase event brings together students and alumni from around the worldJanuary 27, 2021

Last week, more than 250 McMaster Engineering students, graduates and faculty members from around the world connected virtually at the Faculty’s annual Backpack to Briefcase event.

In addition to alumni and students in Canada, attendees tuned in from Bangladesh, India, U.S., Nigeria, France, China, Turkey, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Botswana and the United Arab Emirates.  

Backpack to Briefcase, which typically takes place on campus each January, offers students an opportunity to connect with alumni mentors in various industries. It’s also a space for alumni to reunite with former professors and classmates. 

The McMaster Engineering Alumni team wants to help alumni and students make connections, share experiences, exchange career tips and information while building professional networks,” said Iwona Centurami, an engineering alumni officer with the Faculty, to kick off the event. 

Two graduates, Radwa Rawoof (M.Eng. ‘13) and Mayusanth Jeyakumar (B.Tech. ‘14) shared their career journey stories with the audience, including how they’ve adapted their roles in response to the pandemic. 

The group then broke off into networking sessions catered to various industries: automation and robotics, construction/infrastructure/civil, consulting, energy, environmental, government/education, healthcare technology, manufacturing, professional services and technology.  

Graduates from each industry also shared advice for current students who are interested in their field.  

“We’re one Fireball Family and we look out for each other,” said Ishwar K. Puri, McMaster’s Dean of Engineering, to the attendees. 

“When you’re a McMaster Engineering graduate, you are resilient, you care for the world, you think globally and act locally – you give back. This event is an example of alumni who are coming back and giving back because they’re very interested in the outcomes of our graduates." 

Learn more about events and resources for McMaster Engineering alumni